Overcoming Obstacles

The San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates will complete a trade that will send Jason Kendall, and perhaps a Pirate prospect, to the left coast in exchange for Ramon Hernandez and Jeff Cirillo. The only obstacle remaining is the money and how much will the Pirates take on, thus the inclusion of a prospect.

Pirates General Manager David Littlefield said he has obstacles, "Money, no-trade clause, and possibly another player – to be determined."

A player?

Yes, the Pirates could throw a player the Padres way. A prospect. The prospect would be in lieu of increased financial commitment from Pittsburgh. It would likely be a B-Grade prospect from their farm system.

Littlefield seemed determined that it would get done, and the formalities this time around would not kill the deal. The money is a much smaller part of the equation than the $18 million he was willing to pay last time he and Towers met at the discussion table.

As for the no-trade clause – it does not figure to be in the way as Jeff Cirillo reportedly does not have Pittsburgh on his list of ten teams. Kevin Towers has been enamored with Jason Kendall for the better part of four years. Towers has never stopped pursuing the catcher. Towers favors the Billy Beane approach in getting a hitter with a career .385 OBP. That has intrigued Towers since he first laid eyes on the homegrown San Diego product. With an action packed lineup in San Diego already, it could push Towers proposed 800 runs up to 850 or more.

When Towers made the deal for Jeff Cirillo, he thought he could spin him in another deal, according to a source within the organization. That deal was Kendall the whole time. Talk of a "super-utility" guy was just a mask. Cirillo would start in Pittsburgh, certainly better than his current and former situations.

Sources with the Padres confirmed today that a deal was on the horizon. "Kendall will look great in San Diego," said the source.

It does, however, come at the expense of Ramon Hernandez, an All-Star catcher in his own right. Hernandez handled the Oakland A's pitching staff before coming to the Padres and is considered the better defensive catcher.

The addition of Kendall would reunite him with Brian Giles, a man who has pined for the acquisition of Kendall since his arrival.

The Padres will turn their attention to Jay Payton and may be very close to signing the outfielder, coming sooner than most think.

Rumors are also circulating about another deal involving the team, but no names or teams have been released in concert with the rumors.

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